How Social Media Downplayed Nigerian Labour Leader's Proposed Strike




  In this part of the world, the role of the new age media cannot be over emphasized, especially in the aspect of getting the necessary support of the masses on issues affecting the Nation. It has become a platform where people lend their voices to effect change in the society. And on this sphere, perception plays a major role in the way we react to issues or do things on a daily basis.

  Retrospectively, it’s no news that in the history of striking actions in Nigeria, the 2012 NLC strike geared towards the removal of fuel subsidy by the then president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, hence, the increment in fuel pump price saw a major turnaround of events. The strike which was widely accepted by the old, the young and even infants across the country in a consolidated effort to fight for “dear” future as the case may be, brought the daily activities of the country to a major standstill. Tens of thousands of protesters marched through the country’s major cities to resist the policy of the increase in fuel pump price, in order to alleviate the sufferings of the masses.

  Much couldn’t be said about the protest without laying emphasis on the big role social media played. What could have been said to have merely started as some random strings of tweets or rants, moved on to the street in bigger pictures.

  The celebrated Twitter hash tag #OccupyNigeria was more than just a hash tag, it played out in words; Nigeria was occupied .Social media channels were available to share information, organise crowds, and report activities. It will suffice to mention that the new media was at its best towards the success of the 2012 NLC strike. Social media became the platform for Nigerians to vehicle their fundamental human rights to freedom of speech. The new age media was alive as to tell the traditional media, it has come to stay.

  Fast forward to the 9th of May 2016, news about the removal of fuel subsidy had gone round across the country once more. Prices of things had gone up like airplanes in the sky, bringing back the nostalgic feeling of January 2012. One would think the 2012 fuel subsidy saga was about to play out again.

  However, the social media sphere, this time around kicked against any form of strike actions towards this fuel subsidy removal, despite the  fact that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led by Mr. Ayuba Wabba had sworn to shut down the economic activities of the country through protest.

The reason for this stance by the ever growing  population on the social media sphere is not farfetched, but one thing is so sure, that social media has come to stay to represent the voice of the people; it has become a platform where views are shared about major issues.

 A lot of polls were conducted  on the Twitter space  to ascertain the level of supports for this year’s protest against the removal of  fuel subsidy, but  to say the acceptation of the  protest nosedived  compared to the widely accepted protest that started on Twitter in 2012 is saying the obvious .This, could have been a major reason why the strike proposed by the NLC couldn’t see the light of day .


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